Potions and Bites: Vodnik Chapter Twenty-Two

Two things to comment on in this chapter: potions and the effects of a vodnik’s bite. First up, potions. When I was about five or six, I was obsessed with making potions in the bathtub. I’d combine shampoos, soaps, gels–anything I could get my hands on, all in an effort to make some magical anything. It just made sense to me that all I had to do was find the right combination to be able to do something that had never been done before. Of course, I never succeeded–but I took that same idea and made it the basis for potions in this book.

I really like the idea that magic exists in the world, and it doesn’t necessarily take anything super to do it–you just need to know how to put things together in the right way. Pig urine, herbs harvested by moonlight–nothing that’s as obscure as Eye of Newt (although come to think of it, that would be fairly easy to come by, too–I suppose I’m thinking more of something like Unicorn Horn or Powdered Griffon Wing.)

As for the effects of a vodnik’s bite, to the best of my knowledge, nothing’s supposed to happen–according to folklore. Vodniks don’t bite people. They drown them. When the vodnik bit Lesana and then Tomas in the book, I had no idea what sort of effect it might have. I came up with the “alternate way to steal a soul” on my own, combining a little bit of werewolf lore into the Slovak legend. This ended up being key to the story, of course–since it’s the device that makes everything be so rushed at the end (Tomas being out of it as he recovered from the bite.) It’s also an element that ties the Lesana story more closely to Tomas’s. She gets bit, and we see the effects. Hopefully readers started wondering what would happen to Tomas when he got bit–before Tomas starts wondering himself.

Anyway–not much else to report for this chapter. Thanks for reading!

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